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Pharaoh's Darkest Crisis

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Pharaoh's Darkest Crisis

By Tom Stephens

The Crossing of the Red Sea

When Moses led the children of Israel out of Goshen, we can almost imagine the godly pride on his face, mingled with a sense of profound humility, that he had been honored in the hand of God, to lead such a great deliverance from Egypt. (Later, when the entire encampment around the Tabernacle was established, the Israelites numbered approximately three million; and as seen from above, covered an area of about 12 square miles, not that many considering the Israelites spent over 400 years in Egypt.)

God delivered the Israelite nation out of Egypt, not because they were such a worthy people but because He loved them and was faithful to His covenant He made with them (Deuteronomy 7:7-10). The beauty of the Passover was God's saving grace; and today His love and grace has made you and I partakers of His wonderful salvation (Ephesians 2:8-10; Titus 3:4-5).

God's character is shown in His dealing with His people Israel. My aim is to show His faithfulness to the better covenant with all believers during this time of grace”not to the gentiles alone”but to all who will come to Him through the Church Age. Simply put, I believe we can walk in His Spirit every day, forsake sin and find divine protection from the seven-year tribulation period if we pray always that we be accounted worthy to escape all these things designed for the devil and his angels (Luke 21:35, 36; Revelation 3:9, 10).

The Plagues of Exodus

The first nine plagues may be subdivided into groups of three. The final plague stands alone. Concerning the plagues below, the Word of God shows Pharaoh did not soften his heart toward the God of heaven, not even once from the plagues and finally Pharaoh and his army drowned in the Red Sea. These plagues are considered to be types of the judgments (and more) the apostle John penned in the book of Revelation. (Exodus 14-12:36 ).

The 1st plague is BLOOD (Ex 7:14-25 ); The 2nd plague is FROGS (8:1-15 ); The 3rd plague is LICE (8:16-19 ); The 4th plague is FLIES (8:20-32 ); The 5th plague is Plague is CATTLE (9:1-7 ); The 6th plague is BOILS (9:8-12 ); The 7th plague is HAIL (9:13-35); The 8th plague is LOCUSTS (10:1-20 ); The 9th plague is DARKNESS (10:21-28 ); and the 10th plague is THE DEATH OF EVERY FIRSTBORN (11:4-10; 12:29-36 ).

Concerning the Tenth and Final Plague

“And the LORD said unto Moses, ‘Yet will I bring one plague more upon Pharaoh, and upon Egypt; Afterwards he will let you go hence: when he shall let you go, he shall surely thrust you out hence altogether. Speak now in the ears of the people, and let every man borrow of his neighbor, and every woman of her neighbor, jewels of silver and jewels of gold (Exodus 12:35 ).

God told Moses, “You have favor in the eyes of the people (Exodus 11:3 ). The Israelite slaves were to ask the Egyptians for silver and gold, a strange request. Why? Though Israel didn't realize it yet, God had a plan. God knew the silver and gold was only a small share of the payment due His people for the 400 year period of slavery. God had an eternal plan for the silver and the gold, but neither the Egyptians, nor the Israelites knew what the plan was. He intended to take His people away from the torment of the Egyptians to a land of milk and honey. Israel would learn these secrets while encamped around Sinai.

Five Things We Should Understand about God's Demands from Pharaoh

Then Moses made his way back for one more meeting with the Pharaoh. In the course of that high-tension conversation, Moses listed five facts for Pharaoh to think about, which the Pharaoh then rejected.

1. Something to Happen at Midnight:

Moses said, “Thus says the Lord, About midnight I am going out into the midst of Egypt (Exodus11:4; 12:29-36 ) Note that at Jesus Second Coming, the bride will ride to earth with Christ following the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, where Jesus’ feet will land on Mount Olives. (But at the Rapture of the church, His bride will arise to meet Him in the air and remain in heaven preparing for the Marriage Supper of the Lamb). At the Rapture, those who are dead in Christ are resurrected with we who are alive, to rise in our glorified bodies to meet Jesus in the air.

Moses followed that chilling announcement with a shocker:

2. All Egypt’s Firstborn Will Die:

“And all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of the Pharaoh who sits on his throne, even to the firstborn of the slave girl who is behind the millstones; all the firstborn of the beasts as well” (Exodus 11:5 ).

The mourning that gripped Egypt would be without precedent. There had been wars in the past, and there would be wars coming in the future. Egypt had endured nine plagues, and there would be more national disasters in the future. But never again had there been a shockwave of grief like this one! The first nine plagues on Egypt are taught by many scholars to be types of the coming antichrist system.

3. There Will Be National Distress:

Then: And there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there was none like it, nor shall be like it anymore. But against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog move his tongue, against man or beast: that ye may know how that the LORD doth put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel (Exodus11:6, 7 ).

World Distress Coming Soon:For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be (Matthew 24:21 ).

Though there would be cries of pain and terror among the Egyptians, nothing evil by any means will touch God's people. All will know that the Lord is faithful to His own, but judges those who reject Him.

4. Israel Will Not Fall, But Will Be Protected:

“But against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog move his tongue, against man or beast: that ye may know how that the Lord doth put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel” (11:7 ).

God will always preserve His, own. The Egyptians are a type of those who dwell on earth during the seven- year Tribulation period. The Israelites are a type of “those who dwell in heaven. (See Revelation 12:11-12. )

5. There Will Be an Exodus:

“And all these thy servants shall come down unto me, and bow down themselves unto me, saying, Get thee out, and all the people that follow thee: and after that I will go out. And He went out from Pharaoh in a great anger” (Exodus11:8 ).

On that last word “O-U-T,” Moses turned on his heels and strode out of the room without any apology; he didn't need to apologize for the message, nor the boldness by which it was given. Here’s what we know about this meeting: God’s heavy wrath was coming to the evil Pharaoh and his kingdom. Today we know that soon every knee will bow before the King of all kings and the Lord of all lords. The time for patience had ended and God's judgment would be severe. Pharaoh had resisted God long enough. The final plague would assure deliverance for Israel.

“And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night: Took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people” (Exodus 13: 21, 22 ).

The Exodus Begins:

In Psalm 105, the psalmist gives insight from the Exodus that Moses didn't put into his continuing journal.

“He brought them forth also with silver and gold: and there was not one feeble person among their tribes. And He brought forth His people with joy, and His chosen with gladness” (Psalm 37, 43 ).

The Israelites were in high spirits as they departed. Among that great body, not one person stumbled. There wasn't a weak one in the bunch. God had been faithful to them thus far, and preserved them. They were refreshed and happy; for God had given them health and stamina for the upcoming trip.

“God led the people about, through the way of the wilderness of the Red Sea: and the children of Israel went up harnessed out of the land of Egypt. And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night: He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people” (Exodus 13:18; 21, 22 ).

Then the Lord spoke once again to Moses. He said: Speak unto the children of Israel, that they turn and encamp before Pharaoh; between Migdol and the sea, over against Baalzephon: before it shall ye encamp by the sea. For Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel, They are entangled in the land, the wilderness hath shut them in. And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, that he shall follow after them; and I will be honored upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host; that the Egyptians may know that I am the LORD. And they did so (Exodus 14:2-4 ).

From Goshen, the Hebrew children left their homes which were near Raamses and traveled as far South as Etham. It was there that they camped, and likely it was here that God gave the information in verses 2-4 above, and added Go up as far as Baal-zephon. In other words, Backtrack, retrace your steps you just took and go back to Baal-zephon.

They were now standing on the shore of the Red Sea. Just to the north stood formidable Egyptian fortresses—massive stone structures. No way could they get through there. To the South lay the vast Egyptian desert called Mizraim. No protection there. To the west lay Raamses and Goshen; that's where they left from and they could not return to Egypt. The Red Sea was in front of them”as facing eastward”now called the Gulf of Suez. The northernmost section of the Gulf was the Red Sea, or the Sea of Reeds. To the north, strong enemy fortresses; to the south, blazing desert; to the west, Egypt. They were boxed-in, trapped. There seemed no possibility of escape.

But Moses trusted God and walked with Him in faith and was never unjust in questioning God. Any acts of disobedience were foreign as far as Moses was concerned; therefore, God was gracious enough to speak to Moses. “Look Moses. I have a profound plan. As you wander back and forth in the desert, Pharaoh will get word via the grapevine that you are aimlessly wandering around, and he'll think, “Yea, they’re going up north to Baal-zephon. I’ll trap ‘em there! That’s the trap they'll fall into.”

“And it was told the king of Egypt that the people fled: and the heart of Pharaoh and of his servants was turned against the people, and they said, ‘Why have we done this, that we have let Israel go from serving us?” And he made ready his chariot, and took his people with him. And he took six hundred chosen chariots, and all the chariots of Egypt, and captains over every one of them. And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued after the children of Israel: and the children of Israel went out with an high hand boldly” (Exodus 14:5-8 ).

Now Pharaoh was in total ignorance of God's plan and he acted exactly as God had predicted; and it was a poor decision”one that was to destroy Pharaoh's domain entirely; his military”and weapons of warfare were totally destroyed in one hour. Pharaoh was so committed to the destruction of God's people that he fully disregarded his own destruction. Can you see the type here, of the seven years of Tribulation as recorded in the Word of God”soon to be relevant in our own generation?

Suddenly, they hear thunderous sounds of horses, chariots, and infantrymen, the dust stirring up around them, drawing nearer. Israel panics and screams out toward Moses to do something, fast! This was Israel's first time to cry out en-masse because of deadly fear (verse 10). They cried out to Moses in judgment, saying, Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us out to die in the wilderness? Wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt? (Exodus14:11 ).

The Hebrews weren't just frightened; they were extremely frightened. Up to this point, Israel had not complained against Moses. But now, in their fear, they needed someone to blame, and they picked their leader. In a predicament like this, who can resist saying, We told you so? The Israelites threw it right in Moses' face: Is this not the word that we spoke to you in Egypt, saying, ‘Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness’” (Exodus 14:12 ).

And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, standstill, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you today: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more forever. The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace (Exodus 13, 14 ).

Our response to panic is: First, we are afraid. Second, we run. Third, we fight/argue. Then we tell everybody our side of the story. But God's counsel is not like that, rather, it's: Don't be afraid. Stand still and watch Me work in your behalf”then Go forward!

God's Four Mighty Works on Israel's Behalf

The Israelites accomplished everything they were commanded to do in an obedient and conscientious manner. And God came through as always, completing four astonishing miracles on behalf of His own people, Israel.

1. He Told Moses To Go Forward: Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to Me? Tell the sons of Israel to go forward” (Exodus 14:15).

There's the Red Sea in front of them; so, forward, march! Moses saluted, and as he got his troops together, the Israelites listened and allowed the joy of the Lord in their hearts and minds through obedience to His command to “Go forward.”

Then God Did Something Else Amazing:

2. He Moved the Cloud from Above Israel to Behind Them: “And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them: And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these: so that the one came not near the other all the night” (Exodus 14:19, 20).

The Lord, seeing the entire situation from the cloud which was leading the Israelites, dropped back. The cloud provided safety for Israel by preventing the Egyptians from approaching the Israelites, bringing darkness to the Egyptians, and light for Israel through the night. The cloud had moved from before the Israelites to between the Egyptians and Israel! This awesome, massive cloud formation dropped from heaven to earth and blocked the Egyptians' view of Israel. It also kept the Hebrew children from looking back in fear. The cloud enabled the Israelites to forget about their fears, and hear God say, “Go forward.”

Now, the Lord would perform a miracle beyond what man had ever seen.

3. He Opened a Path Through the Red Sea: “And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided” (Exodus 14:21).

There’s nothing our Lord cannot do. The scriptures say the Lord caused the sea to back up by a strong east wind all that night (remember these events are during the night), and made the sea dry land. I am encouraged to believe He didn't need the winds. God could have, had He desired—dried the ground with a single breath from His own lungs. But He wanted to see the joy of His people as He conquered.

The Israelites must have stood in awe that night watching the miracle wrought by the hands of Almighty God. With full trust in Him, they must have sensed the compassion of God as He fought and conquered the, Egyptians in their behalf.

So, looking forward when following the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, Jesus and His bride, the Church, mount up, riding together back to earth to conquer the evil works of the devil and his followers. All He will need to do is simply point His finger, and His bride will only need to sit back and watch as He conquers all evil.

4. He Brought Confusion to the Egyptians: “And it came to pass, that in the morning watch the LORD looked unto the host of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of the cloud, and troubled the host of the Egyptians, And took off their chariot wheels, that they drave them heavily: so that the Egyptians said, Let us flee from the face of Israel; for the LORD fighteth for them against the Egyptians. And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand over the sea, that the waters may come again upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen” (Exodus14: 24-26).

The morning watch is still darkness for the Egyptians, and when they finally do see light, it's too late, for they are totally confused. The dry earth has turned to mud; their overloaded chariot wheels are bogged and coming apart. In terror, the Egyptians attempt to escape, but they are unable to accomplish anything. They are doomed and nothing can prevent it.

The Lord told Moses to stretch out his hand over the sea so that the waters may come back over the Egyptians, over their chariots and their horsemen (v. 26). He obeyed God, and at daybreak, the sea went back to its normal state with awesome force. The Egyptians were caught in the middle of the angry torrent, and the scripture says, “The Lord overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea." Miracles took place that day by the hand of the Lord. The very special one for me is the protection God placed in the cloud by day and fire by night. A massacre took place that day. By the end of the day, not one of the Egyptians who had chased after the Israelites was alive. Not a single Egyptian lived through God's ambush, and not a single Israelite was harmed.

It sounds to me like the God of the Hebrews is still the same God of His people today. I believe our God is quite able to deliver His people from the curse of our enemy, to deliver us from the horrors of that time on earth which God created for the devil and his angels, and to provide a mansion for us who ever love and adore Him as stated in John 14:1-4:

“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.2In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know” (John 14:1-4).

Every word in John 14:1-4 tells us we, the church of Jesus Christ, His bride, will not be on earth when the Antichrist is revealed to the nations. Jesus, the Apostles, and a great majority today teach and preach the Pre-tribulation Rapture of the church with the two conditions, given by Jesus Himself:

· “For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man” (Luke 21:35, 36).

· “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown” (Revelation 3:9-10).

Closure: Today Israel faces many threats similar to those she went through in Moses' day and countless other times from then to now. For instance, she faces serious threats from 1) A coming nuclear Iran. 2) The threat of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood. 3) The Threat of world “diplomatic terror.” This paper deals only with the terrible threat of terror by the ancient Egyptians.

The following relevant points concern the three points given above written in a newsletter by Jay Sekulow, Chief Council for the American Center for Law and Justice:

The Threat of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood—fueled by radical Islamists, continues to tighten its grip on Egypt’s new government. They have a majority in Parliament, and they've made one of their major leaders a candidate for the Egyptian presidency, which could leave the Islamist group in control of all branches of Egypt's new government. This is a group that says it will not recognize Israel “under any circumstances." In fact, this group has a global terrorist footprint (the leader of the terrorist group Hamas traveled to Cairo recently to meet with top Muslim Brotherhood leaders) and calls Israel an “occupying criminal enemy.”

Now the Muslim Brotherhood reportedly says it will begin legal action aimed at canceling the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel that was signed in 1979. At that point, Egypt, exhausted and bloodied by war after war against Israel, essentially took a U.S. bribe to stand down. Billions of dollars of aid began flowing into the authoritarian Hosni Mubarak regime.

But as the Muslim Brotherhood began asserting control over Egyptian life and politics, an Egyptian mob tore down the wall surrounding the Israeli embassy and stormed the building -- a grave violation of international law. We also saw the use of Egyptian territory by an al Qaeda affiliate to slaughter Israeli citizens. In addition, there was the brutal slaughter of two dozen Christian protesters, crushed by an Egyptian armored personnel carrier. And when rockets were recently fired into Israel from across Egypt's border, the Egyptian military took no action to stop the attacks. It may be necessary for Israel to take direct action to protect its own citizens.

Last year, the U.S. Congress suspended America's annual military aid to Egypt; now, our secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, has signed off on the release of $1.3 Billion to Egypt. The ACLJ is leading a nationwide campaign calling on the Secretary to stop our tax dollars from funding a terrorist-supported Egypt. Where do we, as Americans, stand in these troublesome times...with, or against our friends in Israel?

Zechariah 12:3,9:
And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people; And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.


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